O little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie…
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years, Are met in thee tonight
Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 NLT
Bethlehem. A town which could be considered tiny and insignificant. Micah 5 describes Bethlehem as being “….small among the clans of Judah.” Yet Micah goes on to say “out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel.” Sure enough Jesus was born in Bethlehem some 700 years later.
The significance of insignificant Bethlehem can’t be understated. God loves to work in amazing ways through the unlikely and the overlooked. It’s easy for all of us to feel undervalued and unimportant, but that is exactly the type of person God will use. Think of the endless ways God could use you if you surrender to His will.
Actually Bethlehem did have some significance before Jesus’ birth. Among other things it was also the birthplace of David, Israel’s greatest Old Testament warrior and king. However, this is also another example of God’s amazing province. David after all was the youngest son of Jesse who considered him the unlikeliest of his boys to become king. But God saw through all that and had him anointed the next ruler of Israel. Again God was working in ways that are outside of man’s conventional wisdom.
We tend to see our life and circumstances through a man made perspective. Once we realize that the Lord works in mysterious ways which are far above our own we will be more ready for Him to use us in an exciting way.
Of course nothing has more significance than the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. How unlikely is it that it would begin one quiet, peaceful night in a quiet, peaceful town. The “everlasting Light”, the “hopes and fears of all the years” all started in the “…Little Town of Bethlehem.” You can’t make this stuff up and thankfully it’s not.
How have you seen God use seemingly insignificant people and events in your life or the lives of others?
Have you ever felt overlooked? What effect has that had on you?
What action will you take to allow God to use you in a significant way?